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Joshua Tree

National Park

About the Park

Joshua Tree National Park is an expanse of arid, rocky terrain, known for its Joshua trees and other western desert vegetation

Things to Do:

  • Joshua Tree NP has four visitor's centers, two of which are outside the park in the towns of Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. 

  • Hiking. While hiking is available throughout the park, the northern end of the park is popular for its trails and scenery. Some of the many kid-friendly trails include:

    • Hidden Valley Nature Trail (1 mile)​

    • Barker Dam Nature Trail (1.3 miles)

    • Arch Rock Nature Trail (1.2 miles)

  • Rock Climbing. With over 8000 climbing routes, Joshua Tree NP is a popular place to go for climbers of all skill-levels. The park itself does not offer guide services, but there are many private outfits in the local area that work with families at any level.

  • Camping. Campgrounds are available for reservation at

Joshua Tree NP NPS Site

Discussion Topics

  • Western explorer John C. Fremont called the Joshua Tree "the most repulsive tree in the Vegetable Kingdom." Do you like the tree? What about the Joshua Tree makes it unique?

  • Climbing with a rope requires some degree of trust in the partner or guide who is managing the belay on the ground for your rope. Climbing successfully as a beginner means you have to have the confidence that you're not going to fall. What allows you to have that trust? Is there anything the guide could do to make you lose that trust? How does this trust compare to the trust you put in those you are close to in your daily life?

  • Learning to rock climb involves a lot of adjustments to initial ideas and expectations. For example, in many cases, it's easier to focus upward movement with the legs instead of the arms. Also, climbers learn that small juts in the rock can support their weight better than they may have thought. What else in life can we do better at if we accept that our initial perception may not always be the most correct?


Joshuta Tree National Park
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